TORONTO (CBS SF) — A chapter in the legacy of the Golden State Warriors will be written Monday night. Will it be the final chapter or a lesson in the resiliency of a champion?
On Sunday, Golden State star Klay Thompson, who scored 28 points in the Game 4 loss while playing with an injured hamstring, took a few moments to reflect on resiliency. What makes a team resilient enough to bounce from a daunting 3-1 deficit?
“The biggest key (to being resilient), I think there are two of them,” he told reporters. “It’s focus and passion. The talent side, the skill putting the ball through the hoop will take care of itself, especially when we play with more passion. We play with great focus. That’s when you see the best type of basketball in the world from us.”
“It starts with our leaders, including myself. We’ll come into the arena with the right mindset.”
It also requires a team to stay in the moment — to focus on just one game, just one win.
“I just try to enjoy the journey,” Thompson said of embracing the moment. “You wish to have no end in sight. Everything that is great always comes to an end so whether that’s [Monday] or four years from now — you never know. You just got to go out and enjoy every minute … with the group of guys you got because in professional sports nothing is ever guaranteed. You can look back on any professional league and see so many examples in the history of sport.”
Thompson said he played Game 4 at 80 percent.
“I did not feel good after the game (Game 4),” he said. “I’m a little sore, but more mentally and emotionally. It sucks losing, any finals loss is hard, you got to digest that. Physically, I feel great. I was at 80 percent the other night. I’ll be inching close to 90, closer to 100 by tomorrow (Monday). Everyone is banged up out there. I’m sure the Raptors have guys who aren’t feeling well. You just have to rely on your will and your teammates.”
Thompson, who forced to sit out Game 4 with his injured hamstring, has great empathy for what his teammate Kevin Durant has been going through. Durant has missed nine straight playoff games since being injured in the Western Conference semifinals. He’s listed as questionable for Game 5, but many believe he will be in the lineup.
“It’s the hardest part of being an athlete,” he said. “Going through injuries especially when your team is playing for a championship. It sucks. I feel for Kevin. I know what type of competitor he is and we obviously miss him dearly. But whether its tomorrow (Monday) or Game 6, we just got to do everything in our will power to help him get back. If that’s win a game and be patient, then we got to go do that.”
“He will be very welcomed, I can say that much. It’s pretty easy to realize we obviously miss him out there. He’s propelled us to championships the last two years. It would be pretty storybook if he could come back and help us do the same.”